A beautifully wrought story of an ad hoc family and the crisis they must overcome together.
Edith is a widowed landlady who rents apartments in her Brooklyn brownstone to an unlikely collection of humans, all deeply in need of shelter. Crippled in various ways - in spirit, in mind, in body, in heart - the renters struggle to navigate daily existence and soon come to realize that Edith's deteriorating mind and the menacing presence of her estranged, unscrupulous son, Owen, are the greatest challenges they must confront together.
Faced with eviction by Owen and his designs on the building, the tenants - Paulie, an unusually disabled man, and his burdened sister, Claudia; Edward, a misanthropic stand-up comic; Adeleine, a beautiful agoraphobe; and Thomas, a young artist recovering from a stroke - must find in one another what the world has not yet offered or has taken from them: family, respite, security, worth, love.
The threat to their home scatters them far from where they've begun, to an ascetic commune in Northern California, the motel rooms of depressed middle America, and a stunning natural phenomenon in Tennessee, endangering their lives and their visions of themselves along the way.
With humanity, humor, grace, and striking prose, Kathleen Alcott portrays these unforgettable characters in their search for connection, for a life worth living, for home.
©2015 Kathleen Alcott (P)2015 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Christa Lewis' narration is superb.
The luscious figurative language and fascinating characters; all of the residents of the building are intricately drawn.
Christa Lewis' narration was a perfect fit for the book. Her smooth delivery takes you through descriptions and inner lives of the characters with a fluidity that allows the listener to savor the story.
I will be listening to other books by both the author and the narrator.
Say something about yourself!
More believable, likeable characters.
Not a big problem with the performance--just felt as if the story droned on and on.
Her written language is beautiful. It was the story and characters that were so tedious.
i like to read. i like to listen.
i liked this story and i didn't. i think the idea of it was really sweet -- but the reality of it maybe wasn't all that successful?
the characters were interesting...however unbelievable it is to think that these people would interact with each other in any personal and intimate way just because they lived in the same apartment building. the story went to so many weird places...i was especially disappointed in how Adeleine and Owen's interactions were played out...i find it utterly impossible that any of this would happen, no matter how fucked up they both were in their own ways.
as i think about it, if i keep writing this review, my rating will get lower...so I'm going to quit while the book is ahead.
Yes, but with the warning that it is difficult to keep track of the story. The writing is beautiful.
The cast of characters is interesting and not stereotyped, with a wide range of ages, backgrounds, and purposes. The interactions are realistic and make the story what it is.
My problem with narration is no indication of chapter changes, so l had trouble making the shift from one character/scene to the next. I listened to this while driving so if I missed a small part, I couldn't go back easily. I think if the narrator had said "Chapter XXX" it would have helped.
*SPOILER* When the son returned to his mother's home to evict everyone and terrorized the lone holdout.
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